Melanie is checking in from the Advisors Circle to show off the lined Terrace Dress she made in a stable knit fabric. She’s got some tips for making your own version.
One of my favorite Liesl + Co. patterns is the Terrace Dress. I’ve made a few versions, and love the way it fits me and how comfortable it is to wear.
So when I was trying to figure out what to do with an unusual knit in my stash, I decided it would be perfect for a lined winter Terrace Dress. I really like the colorful print of my fabric, but it is a lightweight stable knit with no vertical stretch and almost no crosswise stretch either. Adapting a woven pattern seemed like a good fit for it.
I made my usual size in the Terrace (size medium at bust, grading to large at hips) with a few small adaptations for a knit. I narrowed the neckline slightly, and narrowed the lower sleeve a lot. I took about 1 1/2″ off each side at the wrist, angling up to nothing where it meets the sleeve seam on the body of the dress. Because this is a knit, I wanted to have snugger sleeves that I could scrunch up.
Creating a sleeve that could be scrunched also changed the order of construction. I wanted the lower sleeve to remain unlined in order to retain its low level of stretch (although if you have a sweater knit or something scratchy, you could line the entire sleeve).
Another adaptation was that I cut the lining a scant 1/4″ wider at the side seams, grading to nothing halfway up the armscye. The reason for this is to give the lining a little more “give” under the dress so I wouldn’t end up straining it. While this is more important in a closely fitted dress, I like the way it allows the lining to move and shift with you, so I added it in here as well.
I sewed up both the dress and the lining’s shoulder and side seams, then pinned them wrong sides together. I basted the edges together at the neck and the armhole, and finished the neckline with the bias facing as directed in the pattern itself. This isn’t strictly necessary; you could finish the neckline with the lining, then understitch and flip to the inside. I don’t like that technique, though, since my lining always peeks out no matter how carefully I understitch. So I’ve taken to adding the facings over the lining. I really like the tidy contrast finish it gives as well!
To get the lower sleeves on after this, I needed to set in the sleeves rather than attaching them flat. This required a bit of fussy pinning and careful easing at the sleeve cap, but it turned out well. I could then finish the sleeve seam and press toward the lower sleeve, and still keep the bottom half scrunchable.
I had just enough fabric to cut the pockets and a sash that was slightly narrower than the pattern piece. I am quite short, so I moved the pocket placement up by 2″ to suit my shorter arms; it’s something to watch for when you’re petite.
I stitched nearly all the seams with a straight stitch, but used a very narrow zigzag for the only part that would require stretch, the sleeve hems. I sewed it all up on my regular sewing machine using a ballpoint needle.
I really like how the dress feels on. It’s cozy, and yet it doesn’t cling to tights or to itself thanks to the silky lining. The lining adds a bit of structure and warmth to this light knit and makes it very winter-friendly.
If you have a knit with more stretch, you might want to size down slightly. The only sizing adaptations I made were to narrow the sleeves and neckline, since my stable knit was really acting more like a stretch woven here. I think that the simple lines of the Terrace once again allow a great print to shine.
I love the lining idea, what fabric did you use for lining? Brilliant to make the lining 1/4 “ wider for some movement.
Sorry, missed this question! I used a bemberg rayon lining, my favourite kind 🙂